A set of Sirens is telling a tale of the tree from which it came, it is the Song of the Sirens. The closer you look the more you see in this Silver Maple triptych:
And closer still:
But what's that dark spot on the left panel?
This is a great question.
When I am carving large pieces from logs, I am looking for very interesting grain patterns. Generally these happen in areas of the log that are growing under pressure, or compression zones. These zones are most typically found under the forked areas in trees and under branches. In this case I was using a log that had a very large branch growing out of its center.
The orientation of the panels is with the bottom/compressed side of the log to the top of the panel, this area is where there is the boldest figure. This picture below shows how the panels came out of the log, and the arrow represents the dark feature on the left panel.
You can see that I have centered the branch/knot equidistant from the bottom edge in all three pieces. In sequence here are the panels from left to right:
These pictures tell the story of the tree. You can see on the outer/left panel where the large branch came out of the tree when it was mature. The center panel represents the same branch, albeit smaller, when the tree was still young. And finally the right panel shows the branch not long after it first appeared on the tree. As a tree grows it adds a layer/ring to its outside. So the further you go into the log the further you excavate back to where the tree began.
The curing cracks you see surrounding the branch area have been filled and stabilized with epoxy resin.
The inclusions, knots, and cracks are all very deliberate elements of my sculpture. I can't control exactly how they will all fall into place but they are there by design and don't in any way compromise the integrity of the piece. The effect is to keep my work from appearing flat.
I'm a contemporary wood sculptor living and working in rural Minnesota. I gather my logs locally and travel the country selling what I make from them.